Just under 100 Democratic candidates (95 at press time) have signed a pledge to "protect network neutrality," according to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a PAC that has also been pushing for healthcare reform, against restrictions on abortion and in support of ads denouncing Rush Limbaugh.
According to the PAC, among those identified as signing the pledge, which includes promising to apply open Internet rules to wireless as well as wired broadband, are Senate candidates Jack Conway in Kentucky, Scott McAdams in Arkansas, Lee Fisher in Ohio, and Paul Hodes in New Hampshire.
The pledge reads as follows: "I believe in protecting Net Neutrality - the First Amendment of the Internet. The open Internet is a vital engine for free speech, economic opportunity, and civic participation in the 21st century. I stand with millions of working families and small businesses against any attempt by big corporations to control the Internet and eliminate the Internet's level playing field. In Congress, I'll fight to protect Net Neutrality for the entire Internet - wired and wireless - and make sure big corporations aren't allowed to take control of free speech online. Mark me down as a 21st century Internet champion!"
In a statement, the PAC's senior online campaign director, Jason Rosenbaum, said it was the first time that congressional candidates had teamed up to make net neutrality a campaign issue.
They were also making it a fund-raising issue. In announcing that she had signed the pledge, New Hampshire congressional candidate Ann McLane Kuster asked supporters to chip in $3 apiece to support net neutrality candidates. At press time, a site set up to take those donations was claiming it had raised over $32,000 from 1,857 supporters.